Cellular partners of autoreactive T and B lymphocytes in synovial and lymphoid tissue

An inspiring BTCure workshop to highlight novel findings on adaptive immunity behind chronic inflammatory diseases, with a focus on rheumatoid arthritis was organized for and by partners of our consortium. The workshop entitled “Cellular partners of autoreactive T and B lymphocytes in synovial and lymphoid tissue” was visited by over 80 participants from 15 different BTCure partners, of which 11 academic institutes, and 6 industrial partners. The exciting program allowed the scientific presentation of 14 collaborative projects within BTCure. Novel techniques were demonstrated to image cellular interactions in joints in vivo, and to mimic the cellular composition of synovium by a 3D synovial micromass tissue culture system. For the first time, the genetic association of protective HLA alleles and the presence rheumatoid arthritis-specific ACPA auto-antibodies was explained at the molecular level. Altogether, these new insights provide unique opportunities for the whole consortium to improve the understanding of adaptive immunity in inflammatory pathologies. Furthermore, three top EU scientists from outside the BTCure consortium presented their research in a keynote lecture. During the last session of the workshop, the keynote speakers were invited to give feedback on the research directions currently taken within the BTCure consortium and to recommend future research projects. Last but not least, the social program of the workshop intensified ongoing collaborations and facilitated the initiation of new promising collaborations.